October 3 – 9
At Longchamps, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the last one run under the sponsorship of the floundering Ciga Hotel group.
Irish champion jockey Michael Kinane sets an all-time record for winners in a season in Ireland, with 114 winners. Kinane will be riding in Hong Kong for the new season.
So, too, is Jeff Lloyd, who flies in from the former colony to ride Imperial Despatch, odds-on to score in the third leg of the Natal Breeders Triple Crown and in line to collect the R200.000 bonus for winning all three legs. The horse runs well below best and tastes defeat for the first time in his career. The race is won by False Pretender, who turns the tables on 4/10 favourite Imperial Despatch by no less than eight lengths on their last encounter. False Pretender is a half brother to Hidden Fortune, winner of last season’s Stayer of the Year title.
October 10 – 16
Mejiro McQueen becomes the first horse in Japan to win a billion yen (well over R20 million). A win in the R6 million yen Kyoto Dai-Shoten brought his winning tally to 12 from 21 starts.
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TAB Natal announces that due to unfavourable punter’s response (and accompanying decline in pools) the unit of betting for the trifecta reverts from 50 cents to the original unit of R1.
A two-day national Marketing & PRO conference takes place at Milnerton racecourse.
Jockeys call the shots at Gosforth Park, when the Saturday meeting is postponed to Monday after the running of just one race. The decision is greeted with derision by many present at the track.
October 17 – 23
The postponed meeting at Gosforth Park is cancelled when another 4 millimetres of rain falls at the track.
At Newmarket, a day later, trainer Michael Azzie scores a treble, including the R60.000 George Azzie Memorial, a race named in honour of his grandfather who trained Hawaii and Elevation.
Sunday racing in Natal and betting on other sports and events become a possibility when draft legislation is tabled by provincial authorities in Natal. A proposed amendment to the Ordinance also makes way for fixed odds betting at the Tote. The draft specifies that the Administrator will control Sunday racing.
In England, the famous Epsom racecourse is put up for sale, together with the tracks at Kempton and Sandown. The asking price for the courses is believed to be œ30 million, with any purchaser obliged to guarantee to future of racing at the tracks.
Roland’s Song, winner of 14 races and over R1 million in stakes is found dead in a paddock of a Natal studfarm. The mare, insured for a reported R500.000 and not in foal after a cover by Main Man, is suspected to have been kicked by another mare.
Meanwhile, Roland’s Song former rival Olympic Duel (who’s also at stud for the first year) gives birth to a filly by Foveros.
In Seoul police are called in to tackle a spectator riot at Kwachon racetrack, when the jockey falls of the odds-on favourite in the fifth race.
Stallion Northfields dies aged 25. The son of Northern Dancer has sired 56 stakes winners all over the world, and is a world-leading broodmare sire.
Model Man filly Fair Model comes with a late run to win the Gr2 Bloodline Fillies Championship over 1400m at Kenilworth. The 11/10 favourite beats Little Ballerina by half a length, and now has her sights firmly set on the Fillies Guineas.
At Greyville, results are less predictable, resulting in a carry-over Jackpot – the first in a quarter century. Pick Six tickets didn’t even survive five of the six legs. Ironically, short priced horses won the first three races on the card.
October 24 – 30
Epsom Derby winner Commander in Chief is sold to a Japanese consortium for a reported œ4 million. The horse follows last year’s winner Dr Devious to Japan, and will join his sire Dancing Brave in the land of the rising sun. Commander in Chief won five of his six starts, including the Epsom and Irish Derby.
At Santa Anita racetrack in California racing is cancelled because of smoke caused by raging bushfires. Santa Anita is the venue for this year’s Breeders Cup day, which is run at the track next week.
Three South African horses travel to Zimbabwe to contest the Schweppes Gold Cup, the country’s premier sprint, run over 1200m at Borrowdale Park. Time To Change, Straight Edge and Master Magnum don’t make the frame behind winner To Asteri, who had broken the 1100m course record here a month earlier. The three South African horses remain in Zimbabwe to further their career there.